September 29, 2014
to Open Library Literary Series
The Hermitage Artist Retreat and the Johann Fust Library Foundation are pleased to announce that their first collaboration, which will open the Johann Fust Library Literary Series on Tuesday, October 14, at 4 pm, will feature a reading by Enid Shomer, winner of the 2013 Florida Humanities Lifetime Achievement Award and first recipient of the Florida Humanities Residency at the Hermitage. The reading by Shomer, an award-winning author known for her short stories and poetry, will be followed by a book signing and reception. At the October 14th event, she will read from her debut novel, The Twelve Rooms of the Nile, which among its many honors includes being named one of National Public Radio’s best historical fiction books of 2012. The book will be available for purchase at the free event. Proceeds will be shared by the Library Foundation and the Hermitage. The Johann Fust Library is located at 1040 West 10th Street on Boca Grande.
“We are very pleased to be able to share one of Florida’s best known writers with the Johann Fust Library Foundation and help to kick off their 2014-15 literary series,” remarked Bruce Rodgers, Hermitage executive director. “The Hermitage has some loyal fans on Boca Grande who frequent our special events so it’s a great pleasure to be able to reciprocate by sharing this wonderful writer on their turf. Our artists are all asked to provide two free programs in the community in exchange for their six-week residency. This will be one of Enid’s “community give-backs.”
The Twelve Rooms of the Nile is set in 1850 and imagines a meeting between 28-year old Gustave Flaubert, writer of Madame Bovary, and the 29-year-old Florence Nightingale. Although these two well-known figures spent months on the Nile at the same time, there is no historical record of them ever meeting. Enid Shomer’s The Twelve Rooms of the Nile imagines not only a meeting of these two travelers, but also develops an intriguing friendship between them. Using actual journals and letters from both Flaubert and Nightingale, Shomer weaves this imagined friendship into a close bond between two people who are lost and looking for their paths in life. Flaubert is unpublished at this time and Nightingale is desperate to lead an independent life beyond the social mores of the Victorian Era. As an added plus, Shomer’s intriguing story plays out in the mystical and provocative landscape of Egypt.
“The Johann Fust Library Foundation is honored to have the award-winning Enid Shomer, artist-in-residence at the Hermitage, as the first author of the 2014/2015 season in Boca Grande,” continued Jon Bednerik, executive director of the Johann Fust Library Foundation, Inc. “Thanks to the Hermitage for sharing Enid Shomer. We hope this is the first of many partnerships between our two organizations.”
For more information or questions about this event, please contact the Johann Fust Library Foundation at (941) 964-0211 or [email protected].
About the Hermitage Artist Retreat: The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to contribute two services to the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among three disciplines: visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098 or visit the website at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.
About the Johann Fust Library Foundation: The Johann Fust Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation, which owns the campus that houses the historic Johann Fust Community Library. The library is operated as a branch of the Lee County Library System through a unique public-private partnership with the foundation. The foundation produces a Literary Series during the winter season, maintains the buildings and grounds, and manages the rental of the property for private events. Call (941) 964-0211 or e-mail [email protected] Its website is www.JFCL.org.